Today, we’ll talk a little bit about urinalysis. What’s urinalysis? Urinalysis simply means analyzing the urine. In veterinary medicine, this is very important, but often neglected. It gives a lot of information because, of course, a part of the urine evaluation, the urinalysis, is the urine chemistry.
This is will give us information about things like how well the kidneys are functioning, which is very, very important, but also will check things like the concentration of the urine, which is extremely important in evaluating the health of the kidneys. Then we look for things like red blood cells, bacteria, protein, bilirubin, urobilinogen, white blood cells, red blood cells, lots of stuff in the urine. Also, we evaluate the urine under the microscope, take a look to see what is in the urine.
Sometimes we’ll find crystals in the urine. Crystals, and those are likely to make stones, so we keep that in consideration. Although some crystals may be normal, there are those that may be abnormal. It also depends on how much crystals you find in the urine.
A small amount of some crystals will be normal in some cases, but we don’t only just look at the crystals, we look at the overall picture.
There are some crystals that’s only going to be found at certain pH. Sometimes, if we find certain crystals, we’ll put a pet on a special diet that will, say, acidify the urine and dissolve the crystals in some cases, but urinalysis is very important. In fact, D renali, which is a type of worm, a kidney worm, sometimes we would make the diagnosis by evaluating the urine.
If you never evaluate the urine, a pet may have this parasite that you will never find out. It’s a very dangerous parasite that will destroy this kidney. It’s rare, but it’s something that we always have to keep in mind, and urinalysis is very important.
There are certain other diseases that urinalysis will give a good clue. One of them is the antifreeze poisoning. Sometimes, the urinalysis may give us the answer to that, so that’s very important. And always, always, always, to evaluate for kidney disease, we always have to check the urine.
We can’t only evaluate the blood for this because sometimes the toxins that typically we’ll look at when we evaluate for kidney disease will be high in the blood for other reasons. But say, for example, if a pet is very dehydrated and the urine is not very concentrated, there is an issue at the kidney level, and that’s speaking in general terms.
Generally, if a pet is dehydrated, the urine should be concentrated. If it’s not, there a reason for concern. Urinalysis is extremely important. In fact, when we say we’re going to do some basic testing, that usually includes doing a complete blood count, an organ chemistry, and also doing a urinalysis. So checking the urine, also checking the blood as part of your basic workup. Thank you for watching.